Martha Wallace Marshall Saunders, 87, of Charlotte, North Carolina, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 4, 2022. Martha was born on Sunday, April 8, 1934, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the late Joseph Wallace Marshall and Martha Campbell Brandon Marshall.
Martha was a graduate of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in Spartanburg, SC, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She began her 30-year teaching career at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan, WI, before moving to Morganton, NC, where she taught for many years at the North Carolina School for the Deaf until her retirement. While living in Morganton, Martha married her beloved husband Carlisle McKinley Saunders, Jr., with whom she enjoyed 24 years until his passing in 1994.
From her earliest childhood days at the Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, the Episcopal Church played a central role throughout Martha’s life. She was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton and was selected on several occasions to represent the Western Diocese of North Carolina as delegate to the Episcopal Conference for the Deaf.
International travel, another passion in Martha’s life, took her throughout the globe during her retirement. She was fortunate to visit all the continents (excepting only Antarctica) and relished sharing her stories, photos, and souvenirs with family and friends.
Martha also embraced numerous opportunities to support the deaf community during her retirement, serving as President of the Alumni Association for SCSDB, volunteering as a proctor for American Sign Language courses at Central Piedmont Community College, and filling in as a substitute teacher at both NCSD and SCSDB.
Martha’s quiet strength, personal grace, and smiling spirit are an enduring source of inspiration to her family and friends.
Martha is survived by her son, Wallace Marshall Saunders and his wife, Frances; and grandchildren: Ann Corbett Saunders and Wallace Marshall Saunders, Jr.
A memorial service in Martha’s honor will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 19 at Grace Episcopal Church, 303 S King Street, Morganton, NC. Memorial gifts may be offered in memory of Martha to Gallaudet University (www.Gallaudet.edu).